Words by Paige Townley
If there’s any competition that you should consider a must watch, then it has to be the Sandestin Gumbo Festival. The 34th annual event is coming up later this month, officially kicking off on February 24 in Baytowne Wharf. Here are five reasons why you’ll most certainly want to be in attendance.
It’s a Big Deal
The Sandestin Gumbo Festival is known as one of the largest and most popular winter food events on Florida’s Emerald Coast, and for good reason. The annual event not only features some of the best chefs in the region in a winner-take-all cook-off, but it also includes live music, family activities, and, of course, the idyllic backdrop of the Gulf Coast.
It’s Two Days of Delicious Fun
The Festival kicks off on Friday, February 24 at 5pm at Hammerhead’s Bar & Grille with the traditional coastal favorite: a seafood boil. For those looking to get the party started even sooner, be sure to swing by early at 4pm when the live music begins. After Friday’s mouthwatering meal, the main event happens on Saturday when the best of the Gulf Coast compete for the sought-after title of “Best Gumbo on the Emerald Coast.”
You’ll Never Find Better Gumbo
The competition for the Emerald Coast’s best gumbo is fierce. Some of the very best restaurants are participating, making attendees taste testing the real winners. Thus far, participants include: Lulu's Destin, Reel ‘em in Seafood, Carlito's Amazing Products, Sandestin Clubs, Rick's on the Island, Little's Lunches and Kitchen, Southern Yankee Queen, Swiftly Catered, LJ Schooners Dockside Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Village Door, Hammerhead's Bar and Grill, Slick Lips, Ovide at Hotel Effie, 98 Bar-B-Que, Marina Bar and Grill, Harry T's Lighthouse, Boathouse Oyster Bar, Ruby Slipper Cafe, Sports to Geaux, Cafe Nola, and The Beach House.
You Get a Vote
While trying to decide whether you prefer a dark or light roux or perhaps sausage versus seafood, there’s another question you also must answer: which gumbo is your favorite? Attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice” winner—the perfect excuse to try out all of the unique concoctions.
There Will Be Bloody Marys
Need we say more? In addition to the competition for bragging rights for the best gumbo, there will also be another battle going on: the Best Bloody Marys at the Beach. Attendees can sip on the variety of Bloody Mary concoctions while watching all the action and submit their vote for the best Bloody Mary as well. The vodka used for the weekend’s event is being sponsored by 30A Distilling Co., a local distillery.
Learn more at http://www.sandestingumbofestival.com.